RICHMOND — State Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Fauquier) hired one of President Trump’s campaign advisers on Tuesday for the final stretch of her race for Virginia lieutenant governor.
Mike Rubino, who was Trump’s senior Virginia adviser in 2016 and his Northeast regional director during the presidential primaries, will serve as an adviser to Vogel.
Prior to Trump, Rubino worked for another upstart — Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a 2014 primary stunner. Rubino was Brat’s finance director for the primary and general elections.
Vogel has been largely viewed as an establishment figure, having served as a state senator since 2008 and as chief counsel to the Republican National Committee before that.
But she has embraced Trump at times, particularly on the stump in rural Virginia. In August, she hired Jack Morgan, a blunt-spoken evangelical preacher who was Trump’s Southwest Virginia field director.
Trump lost Virginia by a five-point margin and his approval ratings are poor in the purple state, where the GOP has not won a statewide election since 2009. But Republicans will need to rally Trump voters, as well as independents, to overcome the advantage Democrats have in populous, deeply blue Northern Virginia.
Vogel faces Democrat Justin Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, in the Nov. 7 election.